Looking Glass: Graphic Tees

Comic Con season is upon us! For a lot of people of the geek/nerd persuasion, Con season is also high travel season; it’s maybe even the only vacations they take all year. The outfits we pack for conventions are probably going to be a bit more specific than the usual travel gear. So I wanted to post ideas about what to wear to express your fandom.

Let’s start with the easiest: the ubiquitous Graphic Tee (and tank). Graphic tees has been talked down a bit because of how common they’ve become, but just because they’re T-Shirts doesn’t mean you can’t do fun things with them. T-Shirts are comfortable and versatile and will likely be the easiest place for people to start experimenting with their geek style simply because most of us have a couple of geeky tees already.

Here are some ideas for how to style your tees – geeky or otherwise.


Take your basic shirt + bottom (shorts, jeans, leggings, skirt) outfit and spice it up with color or patterns. If your shirt design is minimal or neutral colored, go with a bright and/or busy bottom. If your shirt is already a bit busy or colorful, you can still go bold on the bottom, but balance by having the bottom be a solid color or minimally patterned.

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And of course, you can mix two bold colors or patterns. Do what makes you feel comfortable.


Tees and tanks can be a lot more interesting if you work with layers. Put a collared shirt underneath a tee and it’s a little preppier. A lacy or drape top layered beneath a tank can change the aesthetic of the outfit – dressier, edgier, more feminine, more casual, etc.


Sometimes, the little extra thought you put into picking what goes with your shirt is all it takes to make your outfit more interesting. This is what I did for my outfits at my first years at SDCC. Star Wars T-shirt? Pair it with galaxy patterned anything – skirt, scarf, shoes, hat. Pacific Rim tee? Wear it with mecha-leggings and matching kicks. When I went to see Wonder Woman last month, I wore a WW shirt over a Greek urn-patterned dress as a nod to Diana’s Classical myth origins.

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You might’ve guessed from my How Geeks Travel- Preparations post that I’m a fan of accessories. They are an easy, simple, and even space-saving way to elevate any outfit. They can also go hand-in-hand with my previous point about theme- like lightning bolt earrings to go with your Harry Potter shirt. I like wearing my Loki tees with gold statement necklaces reminiscent of the gold on Loki’s chest-piece. The Sister sassed up her Catwoman outfit with a cat-eared beanie, cat-eye sunglasses, and cat tights.


Lastly and the most labor-intensive, you can customize your T-shirts to be a little more than just a Graphic Tee. You can cut off the sleeves and turn it into a tank or trim from the bottom and turn it into a crop top. The collar can be cut for a different neckline. You can add your own designs with fabric paint, patches, and appliques. My college roommate transformed our way-too-big unisex school football shirt into a cute wide-collared fitted tee just by cutting it up and re-tying. My Sister did a similar thing with a too-large Batman shirt – she cut the sleeves off and opened the sides. She then used black and yellow ribbon to tie the shirt back together.

I hope some of these tips helped you or inspired some upcoming outfits. The geek T-Shirt is always going to be around, so why not get creative with them? Whatever you do, remember to have fun! This is an expression of your passions and fandoms, after all.


What’s your favorite way to wear your geeky graphic tees?

*Jordandené- fave for geeky tees/tanks. See lettering-based shirts in post.

5 thoughts on “Looking Glass: Graphic Tees

  1. Cate says:

    LOVE this post, I definitely need to update my nerdy wardrobe soon and I have a couple of tees I want to turn into tank tops so I can’t wait to do that I love customising my clothes xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

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